Training and the Production of Ambience
This chapter addresses the question of how the social interactions necessary to food service in restaurants can be trained and managed. Interviews were conducted with managers from eight restaurants that compete with the Hungry Cowboy. These included chain restaurants and independent restaurants. Chain restaurants and independent restaurants had different patterns of training and hiring and management philosophies. Chain restaurants tend to use routinized scripts, themed packaging, and carefully defined training practices—an approach referred to as Total Quality Service, which attempts to predict all possible situations and lay out rules prescribing appropriate behavior. In contrast, independent restaurants tend to rely on specialized systems of management that grow out of the operation of individual companies—an approach defined as the Cut and Paste method, which arises in a much less organized or predictable manner, developing out of the idiosyncrasies of the particular workplace culture. The chapter compares Rosie’s with the Hungry Cowboy in order to scrutinize the attendant advantages and limitations of each management approach.
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